Men's Basketball

GAME PREVIEW- Men's Basketball Travels To Ohio Northern Saturday

Junior T.J. Gillespie

Mount Union's men's basketball team (10-12, 8-7 OAC) travels to Ohio Northern (11-11, 7-8 OAC) for an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball matchup Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the Ohio Northern University Sports Center.

With the win in their previous game against Muskingum, Mount Union has clinched a berth in the OAC tournament.

 There will also be a LIVE STATS feed of the game. 

Mount Union is coming off its second straight win with a 80-60 victory Wednesday night at Muskingum. The Raiders are currently tied with Wilmington for fourth place in the OAC standings with two games left in the regular season.  

Mount Union ranks second in the conference in scoring (76.9 ppg) with sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) leading the team in points (14.9 ppg). Jacubec also leads the conference in three-pointers made (63) and ranks among the conference leaders in steals, assists and minutes played.

Ohio Northern enters Saturday's game on a three-game win streak with victories at Otterbein (82-73), Muskingum (86-79) and in their last game at Heidelberg (76-68). The Polar Bears are currently tied for fifth place in the conference standings with John Carroll. Brandon Rushton leads the team in scoring with 15.3 points which also ranks seventh in the conference.

THE SERIES

This will be the 87th meeting all-time between Mount Union and Ohio Northern. The Polar Bears hold a 56-30 overall advantage in the series and won the matchup earlier this season which was a 69-63 victory in Alliance. Last season, the Raiders went had a 2-1 record against the Polar Bears winning both regular season meetings, but were defeated in the first round of the OAC tournament.

 

TEAM STATS COMPARISON

Team Stats 

Mount Union

Ohio Northern

Points per game

76.9 (2nd)

72.3 (6th)

Points Allowed per game

74.2 (8th)

74.2 (8th)

Field Goal %

44.3% (8th)

46.0 (3rd)

3 Point %

37.6% (3rd)

32.4% (9th)

Free throw %

74.9% (4th)

75.5%(1st)

Rebounds

38.1 (1st)

30.5 (10th)

Assists

12.6 (5th)

12.3 (6th)

Turnovers

14.7 (9th) 

11.3 (2nd)

 

MOUNT UNION STAT LEADERS

  • Points- Nate Jacubec- 14.9
  • Rebounds- Nate Jacubec, Jarrett Ruffin- 5.0
  • Assists-T.J. Gillespie- 2.7
  • Steals- Nate Jacubec- 1.4
  • Blocks-Jarrett Ruffin 1.0

MOUNT UNION PROJECTED STARTERS

  • 3-   Justen Little, Sr., G, Galion/Galion - 2.2 ppg, 2.5 apg
  • 10- Cody Dillon, Fr., G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls – 8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
  • 20- Nate Jacubec, So., G, Struthers/Struthers - 15.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • 30- Stevie Griffin, So., F, Canton/ Massillon Jackson– 12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg
  • 45- Matt Kiger, Sr., F, Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown – 7.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg

COACH

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is in his second season as head coach at Mount Union and has compiled a 20-27 overall record as head coach of the Purple Raiders.  Prior to becoming head coach of the Raiders, Fuline had a successful coaching career at the high school level that included winning the 2010 OHSAA Division I State Championship at Massillon Jackson. Prior to coach at Massillon, he was the head coach at Rootstown high school (2003-2005). At Rootstown, his 2003-04 team posted a 16-6 record and won a sectional championship while his 2004-05 team went 20-4, shared the league title and won a district championship. Fuline was named 2004 Ohio's Division III Co-Coach of the Year.

OHIO NORTHERN STAT LEADERS

  • Points-Brandon Rushton – 15.3
  • Rebounds- Taylor Kuhlman- 5.2
  • Assists- Isaiah Roux- 2.6
  • Steals-Isaiah Roux– 1.3
  • Blocks-Dominique Royal, Jon Stechschulte– 0.5

OHIO NORTHERN PROJECTED STARTERS

COACH

Kevin Byrne (Carnegie Mellon '96) is in his first season as head coach at Ohio Northern after serving four years as head coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He previously has coached as an assistant at Marietta and his alma mater Carnegie Mellon.  While at MIT, his teams set the record for wins earned its first NEWMAC championship, and made the first three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in program history. Last season, Byrne helped guide MIT to a 29-2 record and trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament Final Four.

OAC STANDINGS

 

Conference Record

Overall Record

Capital

13-2

16-6

Baldwin Wallace

12-3

17-5

Marietta

12-3

16-6

Wilmington

8-7

11-10

Mount Union

8-7

10-12

Ohio Northern

7-8

11-11

John Carroll

7-8

10-11

Heidelberg

4-11

9-13

Otterbein

4-11

7-15

Muskingum

0-15

1-21

 

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

Jimmy Darnley - Jr., 6-5, F, Canton/GlenOak

  • Has played in all 22 games with three starts
  • Season-high/ Career-High 7 points vs Adrian (12/8/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds at Westminster (11/17/12)

Cody Dillon - Fr., 6-4, G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls

  • Has started all 22 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)
  • Season-high/Career-High 3 steals, two times with last at Marietta (1/9/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks vs Findlandia (Mich) ((12/30/12))

Tyler FausnightJr., 6-3, F, Uniontown/North Canton Hoover

  • Has played in five games this season
  • Season-High 5 points at Adrian (Mich) ((11/28/12))
  • Season-High 3 rebounds at Adrian (Mich) ((11/28/12)
  • Career-High 12 points, two times with last vs Rust (Miss) ((11/27/10))
  • Career-High 8 rebounds at Hiram (11/15/10)
  • Career-High 2 assists, two times with last at Muskingum (12/22/10)
  • Career-High 2 steals, two times with last at Westminster (Pa) ((11/19/10)
  • Career-High 2 blocks vs Rust (Miss) ((11/27/10))

T.J. Gillespie - Jr., 5-11, G, Toledo/Toledo St. John's

  • Has come off the bench in 16 games this season
  • Season-high 10 points, two times with last at Muskingum (2/7/13)
  • Season-high 3 rebounds, four times with last vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 assists, two times with last vs. Baldwin Wallace (1/31/13)
  • Season-high 2 steals, two times with last vs Ohio Northern (12/5/12)
  • Career-high 20 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11)
  • Career-high 3 steals vs John Carroll (1/26/11)
  • Career-high 5 rebounds vs Rust (Miss.) (11/27/10) and vs Piedomont (Ga.) (11/28/10)

Stevie Griffin - So., 6-3, F, Canton/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in 14 games this season with 13 starts
  • Season-high/Career-high 25 points at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Season-high 7 rebounds, two times with last at Muskingum (2/7/13)
  • Season-high 3 assists at Heidelberg (1/19/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks, four times with last at Muskingum (2/7/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 steals vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • Career-high 6 three-pointers at Geneva (11/19/11)
  • Career-high 8 rebounds vs. Westminster (11/22/11) and at Muskingum (2/1/12)
  • Career-high 4 assists vs. Westminster (11/22/11)
  • Played for Coach Fuline and won 2010 OHSAA Division I state title at Massillon Jackson High School

Nate Jacubec - So., 5-11, G, Struthers/Struthers

  • Has started all 22 games this season
  • Leads team in scoring (15.2 points) and steals (1.4 steals)
  • Tied for the team lead in rebounding (5.0 rebounds)
  • Season-high/Career-high 31 points at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds, two times with at Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 steals vs. Findlandia (12/30/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 three-pointers at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • 2012 Purple and Gold Financial All-Tournament Team
  • 2012 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 Buzz Ridl All-Tournament Team

Evan Keeslar - Fr., 6-3, G, Uniontown/Green

  • Has come off the bench in all 22 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 points at Adrian (11/28/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists three times, with last vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 free-throws at Adrian (11/28/12)

Matt Kiger - Sr., 6-5, F, Williamstown, W.Va./Williamstown

  • Has played in all 22 games with 18 starts 
  • Season-high 19 points vs Thiel (Pa) ((11/16/12)) 
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds vs Baldwin Wallace (1/30/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists, nine times with last at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks vs Baldwin Wallace (1/31/13)
  • Career-high 20 points at Otterbein (12/4/10) and vs. Waynesburg (12/30/10)
  • Career-high 9 rebounds vs. Waynesburg (12/30/10)
  • Career-high 9 free-throws vs Capital (1/16/10)
  • Career-high 2 steals, four times with last vs #24 Marietta (1/5/11)

Jerod Lane - Jr., 6-6, F, North Canton/Hoover

  • Has come off the bench in 13 games this season
  • Career-high/Season-high 5 points, two times with last vs Muskingum (1/26/13)
  • Career-high/Season-high 5 rebounds vs Muskingum (1/16/13)

Justen Little - Sr., 5-10, G, Galion/Galion

  • Has started all 22 games this season
  • Season-high 10 points at Otterbein (12/15/12)
  • Season-high 4 rebounds vs Adrian (Mich) ((12/29/12))
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists, three times with last at John Carroll (12/05/12)
  • Season-high 3 steals, two times with last at John Carroll (12/5/12)
  • Career-high 15 points at Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Career-high 7 rebounds, two times with last at Ohio Northern (1/7/12)
  • Career-high 4 steals at John Carroll (1/25/12)

Taylor Moore - Fr., 6-6, F, North Canton/Hoover

  • Has played in all 22 games with one start (vs. Thiel)
  • Season-high/career-high 20 points at Heidelberg (1/19/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks, two times with last vs Adrian (Mich) ((12/29/12))
  • Had first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

Jarrett Ruffin - Fr., 6-6, F, Northfield/Nordonia

  • Has played in all 20 games this season with nine starts
  • Leads the team in blocks (1.0 bpg)
  • Tied for the team lead in rebounding (5.0 rebounds)
  • Season-high/Career-high 20 points, two times with last at Marietta (1/9/13) 
  • Season high/Career-high 10 rebounds at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 blocks three times, with last at Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 steals, two times with last vs Muskingum (1/16/13)
  • Had first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds at Wilmington (1/12/13)

Kyle Scelza - Fr., 6-1, G, Stow/Stow

  • Has come off the bench in all 22 games
  • Season-high/Career-high 16 points at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 rebounds and 4 assists vs Pitt- Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 three-pointers six times, with last vs John Carroll (1/13/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 steals vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
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